Softball downs Alvin Community College 7-2
Oct. 10, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Softball team improved to 3-0 in its fall season, claiming a 7-2 victory over Alvin Community College in exhibition play Wednesday night at Red and Charline McCombs Field. The Longhorns' pitching staff allowed just three base runners over the final five-and-two-thirds innings.
After senior Kim Bruins tossed the first two frames, recording four strikeouts, freshman Holly Kern threw two and surrendered only a walk. Senior All-American Blaire Luna came in for the next two innings and tallied five strikeouts without allowing a base runner. Sophomore Gabby Smith got the final three outs to seal the victory.
Offensively, UT was led by freshman Lindsey Stephens, who went two-for-two with a triple, double and two runs batted in. Bruins also chipped in with an RBI double, two singles and a run scored.
The Longhorns worked out of a jam in the top of the first as the Dolphins' initial two batters reached with consecutive singles. Bruins then buckled down with a fielder's choice and pair of strikeouts.
In the top of the second, Alvin took a 2-0 lead with a bases-loaded walk by Bianca Barrera and an RBI single from Kara Ihlenfeldt. The advantage did not last long, however, as a two-run, two-out triple from Stephens knotted the game in the bottom of the frame.
The Longhorns tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fifth to make it a 5-2 contest. Bruins hit a double to center field that plated freshman Taylor King, who led off the frame with a walk. Two batters later, Bruins scored on an Alvin error.
A solo home run to center field from in the bottom of the sixth inning from sophomore Marlee Gabaldon pushed the UT lead to 6-2.
Alvin mounted a two-out rally in the top of the seventh when Ihlenfeldt was a hit by pitch and Jordan Garza singled, but Smith shut the door with a strikeout looking.
Despite the UT lead, the teams played the bottom of the seventh and Texas added a final run. Bruins hit a one-out single and King entered to pinch run. King stole second and scored on a single to right center from Shireman.
Confidence is a beautiful thing. You were finally able to see some of the freshmen start to unload. They just looked more relaxed. We know that's going to happen as time goes on.
We're still trying to not get them consumed so much with results. We were able to see some people settle into the game tonight.
On freshman Lindsey Stephens: We know what she's capable of so that didn't surprise me at all. She has a beautiful swing with a lot of power. It takes them [freshmen] a little bit of time. They need to see more pitches, different pitchers and different pitches coming at them.
Lindsey, obviously, in the first at bat came up with the big one. After that, I think she was very confident and relaxed for her next at bat. When you're playing like that, good things tend to happen. That's what I mean that confidence is a beautiful thing. It really impacted her second at bat.
On goals for the rest of the fall season: I'm very excited that we'll have an entire full week of practice next week because we don't play a game. We'll actually get almost two full weeks in. That's what we need right now.
During the fall we're keying on academics and getting our reps in when we can. We're doing a lot of those things. It'll be nice to get extra reps, tack on a few more goals and cover a little more in practice. That's tough to do when you only get two days and then play again. We'll be able to build on three or four of our other goals for the next two games.
We'll see the team growing together. That's the only thing we're looking for in the fall. I liked it tonight. I thought our communication and chemistry were good. You can see it's moving in the right direction.